On Our "Virtual Route 66" : Thoughts on Safety & The Future For the Month

 While on our "Virtual Route 66" This Week around the World and as Summer looms, We present the following thoughts courtesy of USA.GOV, FEMA  & BLOOMBERG for consideration: 

Take steps to avoid illness and injury this summer

Kids doing a potato sack race at summer camp.

Summertime is around the corner. Is a vacation getaway or staycation on your agenda, or do you plan on working outdoors? No matter your plans, use official advice to beat the summer heat, and prevent illness and injury.

Beat the heat: Heat poses the greatest risk for people under age 4 and over 65. The best ways to stay safe include staying cool and hydrated, and wearing loose-fitting clothes. Stay in air-conditioned places as much as possible.⁣

Food safety: Picnic and barbecue season offers lots of opportunities for outdoor fun with family and friends. But they can increase your risk of foodborne illness. Keep your food safe from the refrigerator all the way to the picnic table.

Insect protection: If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, protect your family from insect bites. Use bug spray to reduce your risk of insect-transmitted diseases and irritation.

Healthy swimming: There’s nothing better than a good dip to cool off on those hot days, but enjoy pool and beach days with caution. Check the water conditions. Cloudy water can be a warning that there are more germs in the water than normal. Check for lifeguards and safety equipment.

Four more summer safety tips from CDC


Hi folks, it’s Kristen in New York. This week a reader writes in with a concern I’m all too familiar with. But first...

Today's must-reads

  • 3M is set to pay at least $10 billion over claims its “forever chemicals” polluted the water in several US cities.
  • Mandy Cohen is expected to become the next CDC director.
  • Opinion: Obesity drugs won’t work if no one can afford them.

Why are my veins swollen?

Little veins are popping in my lower legs. Is there anything I can do to help? —Cynthia, Oakland, California

Those little bulging and swollen veins are more commonly known as varicose veins. They’re generally not dangerous, but can sometimes be painful. I happen to know this condition well because it runs in my family — and along the back of my own legs!

They’re not that uncommon. Veins close to the surface of the skin, which normally lie flat, pop out for a number of reasons, says Daniel Clair, the chair of the vascular surgery department at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

“Normally these superficial veins are not exposed to the higher pressures of the larger, deeper veins in the legs,” he says. “But sometimes, either because of local trauma or genetics, the one-way valves that protect these veins become dysfunctional.”

Varicose veins can be especially swollen, tender and uncomfortable for people on their feet all day. 

You can see your physician about varicose veins. Doctors typically first perform a physical and an ultrasound to determine if there are problematic valves or clots, says Neal Cayne, director of endovascular surgery at NYU Langone Health. Vascular surgeons use that information to determine next steps.

More conservative treatments include things as simple as wearing compression stockings or elevating the legs, Cayne says. Doctors can also perform a vein ablation — sealing off the vein with the leaky valves — or a microphlebectomy — removing the most painful veins. — Kristen V. Brown

The Sunday read

In 2019 the Food and Drug Administration told sunscreen manufacturers it had safety concerns about 12 ingredients that give so-called chemical lotions and sprays their protective power.

One was particularly worrying to researchers and consumer advocates: oxybenzone. Four years later, oxybenzone has been largely eliminated as an ingredient. But there is still plenty of other scary stuff in sunscreen, Bloomberg’s Anna Edney writes.

What we’re reading

Vascular care can be a little like the Wild West, reports ProPublica

Insurance alone didn’t keep patients on Ozempic, from STAT

A catatonic woman awoke after 20 years. It could change how we think about psychiatry, writes the Washington Post



In this Edition:

Important Deadlines & Reminders

May 15

Abstracts for Hazard Mitigation Workshop due at 4 p.m. ET. 

May 21

National Advisory Council applications due by midnight ET. 

June 1

FEMA Exercise Support applications due. 

ICYMI: FEMA Administrator Delivers Commencement Address at Penn State


FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell delivered the 2023 commencement address at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology on May 6. 


Administrator Criswell’s remarks highlighted technological advances that help FEMA and the emergency management enterprise respond to disasters, including COVID-19, but reminded the new graduates that it is the people behind the technology that are the real heroes.


“Technology helped fast-track the development of COVID vaccines, but it took people to get the shots in arms. Technology enabled virtual medical appointments, but it took people to work through the complex process of protecting patient information. And when it came to your college education, technology brought you into virtual classrooms, but it took your professors and administrators to maintain the experience of a world-class education,” remarked Administrator Criswell. “We can never forget that it is the people behind the technology that has helped us get here today. Technology is only one part of the solution -- you are the other.”

FEMA Administrator

Administrator Criswell Delivers Commencement Address at Pennsylvania State University’s College of Information Sciences and Technology (Photo Credit: Penn State)


Administrator Criswell also challenged the class of 2023 to continue to question and challenge the status quo in order to make change in their own communities, nationwide and across the globe.


“Regardless of the career you choose, I challenge you to give back to the places you call home. Use your skills to make a difference, change a life and perhaps save one too" said Administrator Criswell.


You can read the Administrator’s full remarks on FEMA.gov watch her commencement speech on YouTube.

Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Allocate More Than $330 Million to Help Manage Migrant Arrivals


On May 5, FEMA and the Emergency Food and Shelter Program’s National Board announced the allocation of $332.5 million to assist with migrant arrivals at the Southwest border.


This distribution allocates all remaining funding through the Emergency Food and Shelter Program-Humanitarian.


Future support for emergency migrant care will be supported by the newly created Shelter and Services Program, which has about $360 million to grant before the end of the Fiscal Year. More information about the new program is available here.


Read more on DHS.gov

FEMA Joined NOAA Hurricane Hunters for Preparedness Tour


Last week, FEMA took part in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) annual Hurricane Awareness Tour in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.


Representatives from all levels of government joined community partners to showcase the coordinated approach to hurricane readiness and response, while urging the public to prepare now. 


At each stop, the public met FEMA and NOAA hurricane experts, scientists and crew members. Attendees had the unique opportunity to tour aircrafts that help forecasters keep us safe – NOAA’s WP-3D and the U.S. Air Force Reserve WC-130J.


Read the full press release on FEMA.gov


Now is the time to start preparing for hurricane season. Sign up for your local community’s emergency alerts by downloading the FEMA App. Make an emergency plan. Visit ready.gov, or Listo.gov to create your emergency plan.

Hurricane Hunter and son with FEMA Region 6 Regional Administrator

FEMA Region 6 Regional Administrator Tony Robinson (right) with Lt. Col. John Gharbi, 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron and Gharbi's son at Lakefront Airport New Orleans.


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